If Utah schools are going to succeed, parents will need to become more involved in the education process.

"There is a deterioration of the family and parents are stepping out of the role of education, expecting the state to take care of their children," Gov. Norm Bangerter told 2,008 Utah Parent Teacher Association delegates on Friday.Speaking at the state PTA convention at Brigham Young University, he complimented the organization for the work it is doing to improve the "most important asset in the state."

"A state's prosperity in the 1990s will be counted by human capital, not natural resources," he said. And parental involvement is becoming more important considering the size of Utah's classrooms.

"By the end of the 1970s, Utah was almost double the national average (in the number) of children," Bangerter said. "That means for every 100 adults, ages 18 to 65, 49 students went to school every day. The national average is 30 students."

That puts Utah 63 percent above the national average.

The result is that Utah spends less money per student with the highest tax burden in the Western states, Bangerter said.

"We are sixth highest in the nation for the percentage of income that goes to education, which means when I propose a tax increase, the Utah Taxpayers Association says `too much,' " he said. "And when I propose spending, the educators say `too little.' "

If America is going to remain successful it will need to make education its top priority, Bangerter said.

"Don't wait for the president and the governor. Changes need to be made on an individual school basis," he said.